The upcoming Band Dehek is keeping its head steady. In this exclusive interview with Noureen Noor, Lead Vocalist of Dehek – Iftikhar talks about his work, his life and the future.
Rewaj: When did you know that the entertainment industry was the career for you?
Iftikhar: In the beginning I wasn’t really sure that I would take it up as a career. To me it was just a passion that I was part of and just didn’t want to leave it because I always loved the part of creation. I started out in the year 2000 professionally. I started to have so much fun with it that I just never looked back.

Rewaj: How do you describe word fun here?
Iftikhar: Well, Imagine the state of mind when you have the right people around you plus they all are doing what you love doing as well. It has to have chemistry to it. When you’re in love with your work it naturally becomes fun.
One has to keep the public demand in mind but in my case I prefer to do what makes me feel more expressive.

Rewaj: In the beginning, you’ve mentioned that singing was just a passion so how did u get your first break?
Iftikhar: I never really said singing was my passion. I said that the whole part of creation (music) is my passion… and as for my first break as a singer… I recorded my vocals for the song ‘Mein Yahaan Tu Kahaan’ in canada at my own home.

Rewaj: Why name dehek was suggested for the band?

Iftikhar: Every one gets to a point where they feel something burning inside them. Dehek is also the heat you feel. It’s something you feel yet unseen.

Rewaj: How many members are in your band and what jobs do they handle?
Iftikhar: I’m glad you asked this question because with this I have an exclusive announcement to make. As of today dehek has a new line up.

Previously the members of the band were:

Iftikhar (iffi)
Shamber (Shimmi)
Himran (Himmi)
Azaaz (Ezee)

and now the new line up is:

Iftikhar (iffi)
Yazdiyar (Yaz)
Azaaz (Ezee)

Now iffi, that’s me on vocals. Yaz is on guitar and ezee is on the keyboard

Rewaj: With new line up how many expectations do you have and why members were changed?
Iftikhar: The beautiful part about this new line up is that before the band was split in to countries. I and ezee were here in Canada and the rest of the guys were in Pakistan. So…it was getting a lot harder for all of us to be on the same page at the same time. With the new line up, we all are here in Toronto. We have a much stronger chemistry. Moreover we are having a lot of fun in jamming sessions and recordings.

Plus pretty soon we are also releasing a new single with this new line up.

Rewaj: How supportive were your ex members about this decision?
Iftikhar: I don’t think that supportive would be the word that I would use in this condition. They wanted to remain part of the band but it was all talk and no play. All three of them were busy with their day jobs and not really being part of the band. As a band you have to be there for it.

Unfortunately it wasn’t working out. So after months and months of talking we agreed to the point where they’d have to find their own way. We are still friends and that is not going to be affected by it. But… but we can’t be together as a band.

Rewaj: Main yahan tu kahan seems a very melodious number. what was the concept behind the song?
Iftikhar: The song was written much earlier than it was recorded. The concept of that song is related to the environment that I was at that time. Its recording was done in Canada. That time I was very new to this land and was missing everything and every one from Pakistan. As the title says Mein Yahaan…Tu Kahaan…. it’s all about the separation of two people who are still having the memories of times that they had spent together.

Rewaj: Remixed version of MYTK by Naweed has totally changed the mood? And you seem get recognized by its remixed. Do you feel that the original version is affecting by this change?
Iftikhar: The time when I released the original song. I had absolutely no idea how to promote and market. And by the time when Naweed’s Remix got out it got its promotion to what it should have been done. I’m really glad that Naweed remixed that song. The Original track is a home recording and the remix is a studio version by a skilled artist Naweed. So obviously there was meant to be a difference between them.

And as far any affect on the original I think the remix did a favor to the original song. Thanks to Naweed.

Rewaj: Should we call it your first single?
Iftikhar: Yeah. It would be the first single that we released as Dehek.

Rewaj: The success of your remix was pretty much overnight. So far what changes it has brought for you?
Iftikhar: I don’t believe that the success of that song did change my attitude toward anyone or anything. I still think the same way and still am just the regular me. As for DEHEK it gave it more recognition that it received in the past which I really appreciate that people liked what we had to offer.

Rewaj: How many offers you have got so far for concerts?
Iftikhar: well we have received offers from US and Canada. Some others are from Pakistan as well. But we aren’t taking up any right now before releasing at least two new tracks with the new line up.

Rewaj: What new we are expecting from Dehek?
Iftikhar: Before I wasn’t doing all the vocals my self and I had to write lyrics to accommodate the needs of the other band members. But now there is going to be more focus on the lyrics of the songs and I will be doing the vocals. I don’t believe in making songs that has no meaning or connection the way we feel.

Rewaj: As an artist what job do u prefer singing or composing and what close to you more?
Iftikhar: I would say writing and composing…. singing comes later on. I enjoy writing and settling those lyrics into a good composition is like painting a picture. Words would be the paint. Composition would be the canvas and vocals would be the paint brush.

Rewaj: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Iftikhar: Inspiration can come from all side. I mean I’m not sure what will inspire me at what point in my life. Sometimes just walking on the road and getting a glimpse of the bird flying by or some old men sitting on a bench talking politics. I can’t say what will. It just have to get me started thinking about it and I might end up writing something down.

Rewaj: In Pakistan rock music is taking place of pop? Where do u categorize your music?
Iftikhar: I never felt comfortable with the thought of bounding my self with just one category however between pop and rock I think Dehek stands some where in the middle.

Rewaj: Competition is everywhere. Delay or hindrances in work can make u a part of history and others might take up your place. Ever u got any obstacles in your way?
Iftikhar: Every one faces ups and downs. You just have to be tough enough to survive the downfall and get up and keep on pushing in the direction you want to move into. I’ve seen ups and downs as well. Moving to Canada was a very big downfall for me in terms of music. But I stood on my ground firm and I’m still here.

Rewaj: One thing that goes unnoticed is the influence that the entertainment, especially the music industry, has on the younger generation. How do you handle this responsibility?
Iftikhar: With every form of music you give out a message. It can be romantic, spiritual, dark or hilarious. It’s never really easy to be able to take the responsibility. Frankly speaking, I don’t think anyone would be able to work properly if they keep thinking about that. I do understand the obligation that I have toward the listeners but I also believe in the freedom of speech. So I write what I feel and if some one feels the same way, they listen to it.

Rewaj: What are your feelings about the sudden explosion of Rock in the music scene? Is rock music having better future in our industry?
Iftikhar: Yes there is a good future for the rock music but every thing has its age. It’s good that people are moving in this direction but honestly. Too much of anything is not good.

Rewaj: How Dehek fans can contact you?
Iftikhar: Through our website.
I am regular on Dehek forum and any one can contact me from there.
OFF THE RECORD: “I’m also working on a project called Urban Zeal. But I’ll tell you about that later on some day…”

Rewaj: When is your debut album coming out?
Iftikhar: (Laughs) the plan is to release 2 new singles and a video then comes out the album. We are working on it. Most of the songs for the album are already on paper and composed. Just need to record them now.

Rewaj: What can your fans expect from the album?
Iftikhar: I’m hoping they are gonna like the album. So far it’s not recorded yet so I can’t say what the response is going to be. But…every one who has read the lyrics and heard the compositions have loved it so far… hoping the same for the album.

Rewaj: Lastly what message you will convey to new comers who are interested in the industry get started?
Iftikhar: Be prepared to work as hard as you can. If you give up, you lose. It doesn’t make a difference to the world, but if you keep on pushing toward your goals they will recognize your effort.

Thanks goes out to Iftikhar – Dehek – for taking his time to talk to us.

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